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Maui High School Wins Honolulu Festival's Maui Mikoshi Design Contest

Students Win Trip to Oahu to Showcase Winning Design at Festival Weekend, March 7-8

HONOLULU
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Maui High School is the winner of the Honolulu Festival’s 12th Annual Maui Mikoshi Design Contest, with the students being rewarded by bringing their cultural artwork to display before tens of thousands of residents and visitors in Honolulu, March 7-8.

A mikoshi is a decorative float unique to specific prefectures in Japan that is carried by groups of celebrants during festivals. High schools in Maui were invited to submit a mikoshi design based on this year’s Honolulu Festival theme: “Creating Cultural Friendships with Aloha.”

Under the guidance of Japanese language teacher Estuko Nagahama, Maui High School won this year’s competition. The students involved in creating the mikoshi design earned a trip to Oahu sponsored by the Honolulu Festival Foundation, Hawaiian Airlines, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Kahili Golf Course, and Maui Ocean Center to showcase their winning piece.

“Maui High School has developed a beautifully designed mikoshi that carefully ties together the unique cultures of Japan and Hawaii in a well thought-out way,” said Tsukasa Harufuku, President & CEO of JTB Hawaii. “We applaud the students and Nagahama Sensei for creating design elements that strengthen and bridge cultural diversity.”

Maui High’s mikoshi will be displayed at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday, March 7, and then carried through Waikiki in the Grand Parade on Sunday, March 8.

Drawing inspiration from the festival theme, Maui High School’s mikoshi (see art design below) connects both Hawaiian and Japanese culture in an elaborate way, tying in symbols that represent forms of “cultural friendship” and worldwide unity. Below are some key components of their winning design:

  • The roof is designed as a blue sky with clouds, which represents changes people experience through life.
  • The top piece features a pig wearing a grass skirt and dancing the traditional Hawaiian hula, used as a form of welcome to visitors in the islands.
  • The fence, constructed using two torches on each side, represents the Hawaiian Islands. Torches, used frequently during luaus or placed in walkways, symbolizes the path that lights the way for everyone.
  • The walls pictured as sliding doors, portray the welcoming nature in Japanese and Hawaiian culture.
  • The front wall depicts a Japanese sakura (cherry blossom) tree, and the back wall illustrates a coconut tree.
  • The doors act as entrances for Hawaii and Japan’s openness to cultural differences.
  • The banner details flowers representing different countries, beautifully forming together like a bouquet.
  • The veranda represents the national birds of both Japan and Hawaii. The Japanese crane represents luck, longevity, and fidelity, while the Hawaiian Nene (goose) symbolizes ambition.

Please credit image to Honolulu Festival

Link to image: http://i.imgur.com/YM4ylrp.png 

About the Honolulu Festival

Supported by the Honolulu Festival Foundation, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and corporate sponsors, the 21st annual Honolulu Festival features a weekend of free arts and cultural displays and entertainment performances for all to enjoy, March 7-8. Under the banner of “Pacific Harmony” and the theme “Creating Cultural Friendships with Aloha,” the Honolulu Festival’s goal is to help perpetuate the strong cultural and ethnic ties between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. The Honolulu Festival Foundation supports educational and cultural programs for the benefit of Hawaii’s school children and the community-at-large through public outreach and charitable efforts. For more information, visit HonoluluFestival.com.

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